Content is the fuel for all your marketing efforts. But before you start creating content, it’s important to have a strategy. It doesn’t need to be extremely detailed. You don’t have to burn the midnight oil or try to map out an entire year of content. While consumer brands have many moving parts requiring daily content across various channels, manufacturing companies have the benefit of being able to do more with less. Keep it simple. Start by considering and confirming the following:
Again, you don’t necessarily need a lot of content—but you do need to have enough to publish consistently. Business-to-business (B2B) companies can usually achieve their marketing goals with anywhere from one to four blog articles per month depending on budget. Oftentimes, they’ll begin with just one article per month to get in a rhythm and slowly work their way up to multiple articles per month as the process becomes more familiar and streamlined. Whatever the number may be, consistency is key. It’s how you gain rapport, build trust, and grow a following.
In our previous article in this series, we listed search engine optimization (SEO) as one of our website essentials. Foundational SEO such as title tags, meta descriptions and headers on your web pages will help your site show up in relevant searches for your products and services. You can then use those same keywords to inform your content strategy so you’re constantly adding new instances of them to your site in newly published articles. Ongoing content gives your website a pulse that Google picks up on, while SEO-focused blog articles help you slowly climb the search rankings for your targeted keywords.
There are two main types of content: SEO content and thought leadership content. SEO content, mentioned above, is driven by keyword strategy and is mostly informative. For SEO content, think 101- and 102-level articles about certain products or aspects of your manufacturing process as well as answers to common questions.
Thought leadership content, on the other hand, is more educational and perhaps even provocative. You can generate thought leadership content around industry trends, news, hot-button issues, or any stance you want to take on a given topic.
Your content strategy should have a balance of both types of articles, with one or more designated subject matter experts (SMEs) to speak with a writer who can extract their knowledge and turn it into well-written content.
Who will be the gatekeeper(s)—the final eyes—to ensure content is accurate and on-brand before being published? Ideally, you will have one or no more than two people (a marketing coordinator and possibly an SME, for example) reviewing content internally. More than two reviewers can begin to enter “too many cooks in the kitchen” territory, which, in content marketing, leads to a choppy publishing cadence with articles going through unnecessary rounds of revisions. While you’re deciding who your reviewers will be, it’s also a good time to dial in the review process itself including who reviews and when, how suggestions for edits are left, and how revisions are addressed.
A blog article does not exhaust its marketing power once published to your website. That’s actually just the beginning of how it should be leveraged. Blog content gives you email marketing content, social media content, and digital advertising content. We’ll discuss each of these areas in greater detail throughout this series. Hopefully, the term, “content strategy,” now sounds less imposing and more exciting than it might have prior!